Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Counseling and Human Development

Degree Program

Counseling and Personnel Services, PhD

Committee Chair

Hirschy, Amy

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Choi Petrosko, Namok

Committee Member

Choi Petrosko, Namok

Committee Member

Pendleton, Kathy

Committee Member

Longerbeam, Susan

Author's Keywords

short-term financial confidence; academic achievement; graduation; first-year college students; pre-college demographic characteristics


This dissertation explores the relationships among short-term financial confidence, academic achievement, six-year graduation success, and pre-college demographic characteristics for first-time, full-time, traditionally aged first-year students. The sample population was from a mid-sized Midwestern four-year degree granting university. These students were enrolled for the first time in Fall 2013 and participated in the survey used for data collection during that term. Examining the role of socioeconomic status and its relationship with short-term financial confidence was first addressed to provide a context for the other research questions. From this, the research question examined the predictive nature of pre-college demographic characteristics on short-term financial confidence. The findings from this question help to illuminate both the similarities and the differences in the various arenas of finances for college students. Two key performance indicators were then examined, both controlling for pre-college demographic characteristics to best highlight the influence of short-term financial confidence as a predictor variable. To answer the question of academic achievement as measured by first-year college GPA, a standard multiple regression analysis was performed and examined. Regarding persistence to graduation six years from the initial enrollment semester, a multiple binary logistic regression analysis was conducted. The results of this study indicated that four of the five included pre-college demographic characteristics are significant predictors of short-term financial confidence. With respect to academic achievement, short-term financial confidence was a statistically significant predictor (α = .05). Finally, controlling for pre-college demographic characteristics, short-term financial confidence was a significant predictor of six-year graduation success.